Summary: looking at the meaning behind the three gifts that were presented by the wise men for Christmas
Intro: the story is told that some soldiers leaving an island at the end of World War 2 conveyed Christmas to the islanders with gifts and Christmas songs. Years later one of these men visited that island and was shocked to find a church there. He was invited to attend the service, which consisted of gift giving and Christmas songs. The islanders had accepted Christ, and had declared every day Christmas. The concept of gift giving didn’t start with America, but with three wise men. Today, I would like to look at their gifts and preach on the subject, The Three Gifts of Christmas—Matthew 2:1-12
Myrrh—victory over death
Since gifts are such a big part of Christmas, let’s make sure we learn what the Grinch learned that Christmas is more than this:
"Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas,
come this way; Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay;
welcome, Christmas, Christmas day."
They continue, singing,
"Christmas day is in our grasp
so long as we have hands to clasp."
The Grinch can hardly believe his ears.
He begins to get furious, but then something happens.
He suddenly puzzles how Christmas came.
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes, or bags."
Suddenly the Grinch realizes that Christmas
is about more than presents, or decorations,
or a feast.
He has a thought he’s never thought before:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t come
from a store; Maybe Christmas perhaps
means." a little bit more
Here is what the three gifts of Christmas teach us
Isaiah 1:18—though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow
Though they be red like crimson, they will be like wool.
The first gift of Christmas is that Jesus Christ is born a Saviour, he will save people from their sins. He will save us to the uttermost, He will remove our transgressions from us, as far as the east is from the west.
Ill) there is probably no greater picture of the salvation of Christmas than in one of the Tsunami stories: here is a picture of what Christ has done for us on Christmas
Topic: Hardship of Life
We know that 80% of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh, Indonesia was destroyed by the Tsunami waves and 80% of the people also died. This is one of the towns that was hit the hardest. But there is a fantastic testimony from Meulaboh. In that town are about 400 Christians. They wanted to celebrate Christmas on December 25th but were not allowed to do so by the Muslims of Meulaboh. They were told if they wanted to celebrate Christmas they needed to go outside the city of Meulaboh on a high hill and there celebrate Christmas. Because the Christians desired to celebrate Christmas the 400 believers left the city on December 25th and after they celebrated Christmas they stayed overnight on the hill. As we all know the morning of December 26 there was the earthquake followed by the Tsunami waves destroying most of the city of Meulaboh and thousands were killed. The 400 believers were on the mountain and were all saved from destruction. Now the Muslims of Meulaboh are saying that the God of the Christians punished them for forbidding the Christians from celebrating Christmas in the city. Others are questioning why so many Muslims died while not even one of the Christians died there.Had the Christians insisted on their rights to celebrate Christmas in the city, they would have all died.That is the story of Christmas, sin was about to wash us away, but instead His blood wash all our sin away, praise the Lord.
II. Frankincense—Worship—John 4:23-24—and now is—this is such an exciting scripture because Jesus paved the way for real worship to God the Father. Before the birth of Christ, ceremonial, legalistic worship was offered to God, but now we Worship God in Spirit and Truth. Our worship is real, genuine, we can approach God in sincerity of heart.
· Christmas is a time of Worship, no matter what we are going through, no matter how hard times are, we have the opportunity to Worship God. Sometimes our situations keep us from seeing the blessings that God has for us. Sometimes we get trapped in our present and can’t look toward our destiny.
Ill) ILL. Kenneth Dodge tells about an 8-year-old boy named Frank. Frank had a date with his father to go fishing on Saturday. They were going to fish the whole day. On Friday night he had everything laid out. He was ready to go.
But on Saturday morning he awoke to discover that it was raining cats & dogs, & they couldn’t go fishing. So 8-year-old Frank grumbled & griped & complained all morning long. He kicked the furniture, the dog, the cat. Nothing was right. "Why does it have to rain today?"